Comfortably Uncomfortable…sounds like an oxymoron, right? That’s what I thought when I first heard the phrase, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted comfortably uncomfortable to be my constant state of life.
Confused? Let me break it down for you.
After my first week of classes, convocations, navigating a seemingly impossible school building, and attempting to adjust to a new way of life, I called my mom and told her that I did not want to be comfortable at my new school.
Yeah, you read that right.
You see, I attend the world’s largest christian university with opportunity around every corner to worship, talk about Jesus and to be fed spiritually and I was beginning to realize that it was going to be so easy for me to just go through the motions and coast my way through the semester without having to put too much thought into my faith.
Hence, the conversation with my amazing Momma. I had realized that if I was comfortable at college, then I probably wasn’t growing in my faith the way that I needed to be. I wanted to be challenged in my day to day life so that pursuing Christ was a choice of mine and not just what my school was aiming for. I asked my mom to pray for this for me and to also help challenge me in my thinking and my faith.
After completing year one, I can easily say that the Lord forced me to rely on Him and make my faith more of my own than I ever had before and I hope to share more of my story as time goes on.
The conversation with my Momma happened in early September. Fast forward to April and I was sitting down with my hall leadership team for next year, when one of my partners for the upcoming year suggested having a hall theme of “comfortably uncomfortable.” I had known her for just a few days and she did not know my story or of my conversation with my mom, but it was something that the Lord has also been teaching her.
Since then, I have been discovering Bible verse after Bible verse that supports this way of life.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 has been one of my favorites:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
The apostle Paul was given a “thorn in his flesh.” What it was, we do not know, but what we do know was that it made him uncomfortable and that God would not take it away from him. This thorn forced Paul to stop relying on his own strength, but on the faithfulness of God. When we recognize our weaknesses, shortcomings and inabilities, we are able that much more to magnify the power of God.
Weakness is uncomfortable and in a culture of highlighting our best on social media or answering “how are you?” with a fake “Great!” we chose to avoid authenticity so that we can keep up appearances.
We keep ourselves from entering honest conversations because they are well, uncomfortable.
But how much more powerful can our witness be if we chose to expose the “thorns in our flesh,” live in His sufficient grace, and give praise to the Lord for the way that He has drawn us to himself in spite of our shortcomings?
The tag line for my hall theme in the Fall is “growth begins when you step outside of your comfort zone.”
Being honest requires stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Speaking out requires stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Serving requires stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Being uncomfortable requires stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Pursuing Jesus requires stepping outside of your comfort zone.
I recently read a post called “Comfortably Uncomfortable” from Hillsong Los Angeles that I think does a really good job of summing up what this style of living looks like. Reed writes:
“You see, we don’t want God to take these seasons of discomfort away from us because it’s in these very moments that God expands our capacity and increases our impact. It’s when we allow ourselves to be uncomfortable that we admit our weakness and give way for His strength. We have to change our mindsets to not see the challenge or the tough seasons as something to escape but rather something we need to embrace.”
So today, I challenge you to examine the way that you are living and ask the Lord to reveal to you areas in which you need to grow, rely on his perfect power or learn how to live comfortably uncomfortable.